Three Keys for Hiring in Hospitality Industry


The hospitality industry, including commercial kitchens and restaurants, have traditionally plagued with high turnover rates. Recruitment, hiring and training in hospitality can turn into a constant challenge.

The moment there is a job opening is NOT the time to develop your hiring strategy. To have a highly-charged hiring plan means being prepared to hire BEFORE you need to–have a method and update it regularly; when the moment is right, you will be ready to GO!

There are basic guidelines to hire the right way for hospitality jobs. Use them to increase retention and reduce turnover, see lowered costs with increased productivity.

Start by casting a wide net. Putting the word out immediately and everywhere is the only way to get largest number of applications. The bigger pool of applicants, the chances are better that the right candidate will be in the mix.

Use different media, such as:

  • Word-of-mouth referrals from existing employees.
  • Classifieds—newspaper, flyers, etc.
  • Internet employment sites (including craigslist.org and careerbuilder.com).

Screen applicants carefully. Every position in the organization—no matter how minor—deserves to be filled with the best people. Yes, there can be a considerable time investment in reading every resume, but the result is certainly worth it.  An organized screening process ultimately saves your company both time and money.

In creating a hiring checklist, these are the things that should exist for every qualified applicant:

  • Relevant job experience.

Look to see if a candidate has spent time on a similar position. The longer they have been on a job that fits the role you are hiring for, the higher the chances they can fit in the organization quickly.

On the other hand, a resume listing a series of short-term jobs could be a red flag. Perhaps a candidate with a long list of experiences will require extremely high a salary, or require too much time to train in the specific procedures of your company. All new hires have a learning curve; the shorter the time until they are up and running, the less they will cost.

  • References.

All candidates should have three references at a minimum, to provide clear insight into a candidate’s knowledge and personality.

  • Salary requirements.

A quick way to weed out candidates is to ask what their salary expectations are.  Unreasonable expectations can be a deal breaker.

  • Interview.

Ask open-ended questions, requiring more than one-word answers.  Try to understand how the candidate views their potential—for the business and for their future.

  • Interview again.

Initial interviews should be performed either personally or by one staff member, and someone else conducting the second interview. It can be enlightening when notes between the two are compared.

  • Hiring is a team effort.

An effective screening process will involve everyone in regular contact with the new employee, in every capacity. This promotes a unified system when bringing on new people.

Training your employees must take precedence, requiring the best assets at your disposal. Always hire the right people, and make sure they get the tools to succeed in their jobs. Accomplish this only by taking the time to teach them properly and thoroughly.

The three keys to hiring successful people? All three rest with current employees!

  • Winners cast a long shadow—use it.

To start, have the new hire shadow a top performer on your staff for a few days. This has a twofold benefit—the new hire will learn the details of their new role, and they will also be exposed to the idea of what your company considers being a good employee

  • Provide well-defined expectations.

Constantly changing rules and expectations creates confusion and fosters a sense of uncertainty in the workplace—something that holds back productivity and costs money in the long run.

Of course, there are many people having high expectations for the new employee.  Avoid mixed signals, and make clear exactly what is expected of the new employee and those workers supporting them.

      • Leadership.
    • Ultimately, employees look to you for expectations and a sense of how they are progressing.  This only comes from the top down.  With a leader providing positive examples for all employees to follow, new hires will naturally absorb this positive attitude.  A positive work environment values both constructive criticism and mutual support.  Work to make this environment for people to develop; it will keep morale high, reduce turnover and improve customer service.
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